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Open and Enclosed Car Carriers – All You Need to Know

Open and Enclosed Car Carriers – All You Need to Know

Open and Enclosed Car Carriers – All You Need to Know


If you ever find yourself in need of an auto transport service there are two basic types to choose from. When it comes to transporting a vehicle across country or from state to state, you first have to decide whether enclosed or open vehicle freight is the right one for you.
Knowing as much as you can about each type of service means you’re able to make an informed decision. For this reason, we’ve chosen to focus on these two options for this particular auto blog. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be in the perfect position to make your choice.

What are Open Vehicle Delivery Companies?

An open vehicle delivery company is the kind you’re most likely to see on the highway. There are a great number of companies that offer this type of service. Vehicles transported in this way are not protected from the weather, dust, birds, and insects. The exposure is much the same as if you were driving your car, without the wear and tear of course.

We can already hear you saying, “I want to ship my car, but what is the point if it’s exposed to the weather?” Our answer is simple. Shipping your car is far safer, more convenient and cheaper than taking a road trip.

A Top Quality Service is Offered

Using an open carrier for car transport is one of the most popular ways of transporting a car, however long the distance. Auto transport companies who offer this kind of service take great car of your vehicle and ensure it’s delivered in good condition. The truckers that drive the trailers are going to be well trained and experienced. They are also going to understand the value of the cargo they’re transporting.

A Transport Method That’s Safe and Secure

Trucks and trailers used to transport vehicles in this way are large and sturdy. It’s possible to safely transport as many as ten vehicles at one time. Straps are used to secure the cargo, and they’re packed in such a way as to maximize usage of the space, reduce movement and vibrations. The main reason for people choosing to use this type of carrier car transport is speed. 

Companies That Transport Cars from State to State Using Open Trailers Provide a Quick Service

Use an open auto transport company to transport a vehicle to another state and you’re almost always guaranteed a speedy service. Open auto transport is the most popular method for shipping all kinds of vehicles, which means such services are in high demand. When demand is high, it’s usual to find more businesses offering an open transport service.

You might think that transporting multiple vehicles would make the service much slower, but it’s actually the opposite. The fact that the scheduling of such a service is much easier means it often makes them faster.

Open Auto Transport Rates

Ask our shipping advisors for an open car freight quote, and you might be surprised at our prices. We’ve also made a handy online calculator available for your convenience.

Enclosed Car Transport – What You Need to Know

You might pass a vehicle being transported via an enclosed car transport trailer and be none the wiser. It’s the type of auto transport service that often goes unnoticed because the cars are hidden from view. It’s this unique feature of the service that makes it so popular for owners of luxury, high-end, custom, and classic cars.

Cars and vehicles transported in an enclosed carrier are completely protected from the elements. Being encased in a protective covering means it never comes into contact with rain, snow, hail, sleet, rocks, or any other potentially damaging objects. Your vehicle is going to arrive at its final destination in the same condition it was picked up. Clean your vehicle before it’s picked up and when it arrives it’ll still be bright and shiny.

Reasons to Choose Enclosed Shipping

There are a number of occasions when using an enclosed shipping service makes perfect sense. Let’s look at three of them.

  • For vehicles worth more than $75,000 – if you’re the proud owner of an expensive luxury, classic, or custom vehicle you won’t want to take any chances. Any vehicle transported by a reputable auto transport company is going to be insured, but with enclosed or classic car transport an extra layer of insurance is provided.
  • Vehicles with low ground clearance – it’s only safe to transport vehicles with ground clearance of 4 inches or more on an open trailer. If you own a vehicle with ground clearance lower than 4 inches, enclosed or classic car shipping is the better option. An exotic car transport carrier also has a lift-gate, for safe and easy loading.
  • Antique vehicles and collectors cars – classic auto transport providers offer a service above and beyond the average open car transport. If you’re the proud owner of a collectors or classic car your vehicle may be difficult to replace. For this reason, enclosed shipping is the obvious choice. An older car may also be at risk of losing parts or getting damaged while vibrating and being jostled along the road in an open carrier. The best car moving company is always going to advise owners of cars older than 50 years to opt for covered vehicle transport.

Different Types of Enclosed Car Trailer

A covered truck is often the same size as an open car trailer, however, the enclosing walls means fewer vehicles can fit into the same space. An enclosed trailer typically carries no more than 7 or 8 vehicles, whereas an open trailer can carry as many as 10. There are also two-car and one-car enclosed trailers, but these tend to be used for very expensive, rare, or antique vehicles. There are two further distinctions:

  • Hard-sided trailers – these trailers look like a standard moving company truck as they have solid walls made of metal or fiberglass. Vehicles transported inside are provided with the ultimate protection.
  • Soft-sided trailers – these trailers have hard shells on the front, back, and top, but the sides are covered with a soft canvas. The level of protection is not quite as good but they’re more economical because they weigh less and take up less space.

How Much Does It Cost?

An enclosed car hauler tends to be more expensive than a standard car transport hauler. There are several reasons for the increase in price. There are fewer enclosed haulers providing a service which means increased demand. Fewer cars can be transported using an enclosed trailer so the overall cost is divided between fewer customers. You can expect to pay at least one third more for enclosed auto transport.

Quotes are available online. You can also speak with our shipping agents. Call (866) 774 6570 or use our online chat option.


Made with Love SGT Auto Transport.